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FICTION

Shepherds Hut1. The Shepherd’s Hut
Tim Winton

Jaxie dreads going home. His mum’s dead. The old man bashes him without mercy, and he wishes he was an orphan. But no one’s ever told Jaxie Clackton to be careful what he wishes for.

In one terrible moment his life is stripped to little more than what he can carry and how he can keep himself alive. There’s just one person left in the world who understands him and what he still dares to hope for. But to reach her he’ll have to cross the vast saltlands on a trek that only a dreamer or a fugitive would attempt.

The Shepherd’s Hut is a searing look at what it takes to keep love and hope alive in a parched and brutal world.


guernsey-literary-and-potato-peel-pie-society2. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

It’s 1946. The war is over, and Juliet Ashton has writer’s block. But when she receives a letter from Dawsey Adams of Guernsey–a total stranger living halfway across the Channel, who has come across her name written in a second hand book–she enters into a correspondence with him, and in time with all the members of the extraordinary Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

Through their letters, the society tell Juliet about life on the island, their love of books–and the long shadow cast by their time living under German occupation. Drawn into their irresistible world, Juliet sets sail for the island, changing her life forever.

Gloriously honest, enchanting and funny, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is sure to win your heart.  Now a major film coming in April 2018, starring Lily James, Matthew Goode, Jessica Brown Findlay, Tom Courtenay and Penelope Wilton.


 

Gentleman in Moscow3. A Gentleman in Moscow
Amor Towles

On 21 June 1922, Count Alexander Rostov – recipient of the Order of Saint Andrew, member of the Jockey Club, Master of the Hunt – is escorted out of the Kremlin, across Red Square and through the elegant revolving doors of the Hotel Metropol.

Deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the Count has been sentenced to house arrest indefinitely. But instead of his usual suite, he must now live in an attic room while Russia undergoes decades of tumultuous upheaval.

Can a life without luxury be the richest of all?


Eleanor Oliphant4. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend.

Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything.

One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life.

Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than… fine?


Tattooist of Auschwitz5. The Tattooist of Auschwitz
Heather Morris

Lale Sokolov is well-dressed, a charmer, a ladies’ man. He is also a Jew. On the first transport from Slovakia to Auschwitz in 1942, Lale immediately stands out to his fellow prisoners. In the camp, he is looked up to, looked out for, and put to work in the privileged position of tätowierer – the tattooist – to mark his fellow prisoners, forever. One of them is a young woman, Gita, who steals his heart at first glance.

His life given new purpose, Lale does his best through the struggle and suffering to use his position for good.

This story, full of beauty and hope, is based on years of interviews author Heather Morris conducted with real-life Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz- Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov. It is heart-wrenching, illuminating, and unforgettable.


Woman in the Window6. The Woman in the Window
A.J. Finn

What did she see?

It’s been ten long months since Anna Fox last left her home. Ten months during which she has haunted the rooms of her old New York house like a ghost, lost in her memories, too terrified to step outside.

Anna’s lifeline to the real world is her window, where she sits day after day, watching her neighbours. When the Russells move in, Anna is instantly drawn to them. A picture-perfect family of three, they are an echo of the life that was once hers.

But one evening, a frenzied scream rips across the silence, and Anna witnesses something no one was supposed to see. Now she must do everything she can to uncover the truth about what really happened. But even if she does, will anyone believe her? And can she even trust herself?


Lost Flowers of Alice Hart7. The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart
Holly Ringland

After her family suffers a tragedy, nine-year-old Alice Hart is forced to leave her idyllic seaside home. She is taken in by her grandmother, June, a flower farmer who raises Alice on the language of Australian native flowers, a way to say the things that are too hard to speak.

Under the watchful eye of June and the women who run the farm, Alice settles, but grows up increasingly frustrated by how little she knows of her family’s story. In her early twenties, Alice’s life is thrown into upheaval again when she suffers devastating betrayal and loss. Desperate to outrun grief, Alice flees to the dramatically beautiful central Australian desert. In this otherworldly landscape Alice thinks she has found solace, until she meets a charismatic and ultimately dangerous man.

Spanning two decades, set between sugar cane fields by the sea, a native Australian flower farm, and a celestial crater in the central desert, The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart follows Alice’s unforgettable journey, as she learns that the most powerful story she will ever possess is her own.


Flames8. Flames
Robbie Arnott

A young man named Levi McAllister decides to build a coffin for his twenty-three-year-old sister, Charlotte—who promptly runs for her life. A water rat swims upriver in quest of the cloud god. A fisherman named Karl hunts for tuna in partnership with a seal. And a father takes form from fire.

The answers to these riddles are to be found in this tale of grief and love and the bonds of family, tracing a journey across the southern island that takes us full circle.

Flames sings out with joy and sadness. Utterly original in conception, spellbinding in its descriptions of nature and its celebration of the power of language, it announces the arrival of a thrilling new voice in contemporary fiction.


Circle9. Circe 
Madeline Miller

When I was born, the name for what I was did not exist. 

Circe is the daughter of Helios, the sun god, and Perse, a beautiful naiad. Yet from the moment of her birth, she is an outsider in her father’s halls, where the laughter of gossiping gods resounds. Named after a hawk for her yellow eyes and strange voice, she is mocked by her siblings – until her beloved brother Aeëtes is born.

Yet after her sister Pasiphae marries King Midas of Crete, Aeëtes is whisked away to rule his own island. More isolated than ever, Circe, who has never been divine enough for her family, becomes increasingly drawn to mortals – and when she meets Glaucus, a handsome young fisherman, she is captivated. Yet gods mingle with humans, and meddle with fate, at their peril.

In Circe, Madeline Miller breathes life once more into the ancient world, with the story of an outcast who overcomes scorn and banishment to transform herself into a formidable witch. Unfolding on Circe’s wild, abundant island of Aiaia, where the hillsides are aromatic with herbs, this is a magical, intoxicating epic of family rivalry, power struggles, love and loss – and a celebration of female strength in a man’s world.


Mercy Seat10. The Mercy Seat
Elizabeth Winthrop

As the sun begins to set over Louisiana one October day in 1943, a young black man faces the final hours of his life: at midnight, eighteen-year-old Willie Jones will be executed by electric chair for raping a white girl – a crime some believe he did not commit.

In a tale taut with tension, events unfold hour by hour from the perspectives of nine people involved. They include Willie himself, who knows what really happened, and his father, desperately trying to reach the town jail to see his son one last time; the prosecuting lawyer, haunted by being forced to seek the death penalty against his convictions, and his wife, who believes Willie to be innocent; the priest who has become a friend to Willie; and a mother whose only son is fighting in the Pacific, bent on befriending her black neighbours in defiance of her husband.

In this exceptionally powerful novel, Elizabeth Winthrop explores matters of justice, racism and the death penalty in a fresh, subtle and profoundly affecting way. Her kaleidoscopic narrative allows us to inhabit the lives of her characters and see them for what they are – complex individuals, making fateful choices we might not condone, but can understand.


NON-FICTION

Welcome to Country Langton1. Welcome to Country: A Travel Guide to Indigenous Australia
Marcia Langton

Tourism Australia statistics show that many overseas tourists, as well as Australians, are keen to learn more about Australia’s first peoples. And while the Indigenous tourism industry continues to grow, no comprehensive travel guide is currently available.

Welcome to Country is a curated guidebook to Indigenous Australia and the Torres Strait Islands. In its pages, respected Elder and author Professor Marcia Langton offers fascinating insights into Indigenous languages and customs, history, native title, art and dance, storytelling, and cultural awareness and etiquette for visitors. There is also a directory of Indigenous tourism experiences, organised by state or territory, covering galleries and festivals, national parks and museums, communities that are open to visitors, as well as tours and performances.

This book is essential for anyone travelling around Australia who wants to learn more about the culture that has thrived here for over 50,000 years. It also offers the chance to enjoy tourism opportunities that will show you a different side of this fascinating country — one that remains dynamic, and is filled with openness and diversity.


Strength Switch2. The Strength Switch
Dr Lea Waters

This game-changing book reveals the extraordinary results of focusing on our children’s strengths rather than always trying to correct their weaknesses. By showing us how to throw the ‘strength switch’, Dr Lea Waters demonstrates how we can help our children build resilience, optimism and achievement.
As a strength-based scientist for more than 20 years, Waters has seen how this approach enhances self-esteem and energy in both children and teenagers – and how parents find it an exciting and rewarding way to raise them. With many suggestions for specific techniques to interact with your children, Waters demonstrates how to discover their strengths and talents, use positive emotions as a resource, build strong brains, and even how to deal with problem behaviour and talk about difficult situations and emotions. The Strength Switch will show parents that a small shift can yield enormous results.

“Practical tips for parents from the wise and wonderful Lea Waters! So many parents, including me, struggle to translate scientific research into real-world strategies. This terrific book not only helps us understand ourselves and our children better but also makes that understanding actionable!” – Angela Duckworth, PhD, New York Times bestselling author of Grit.


Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck3. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
Mark Manson

In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be “positive” all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.

For decades, we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. “F**k positivity,” Mark Manson says. “Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it.” In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn’t sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is—a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is his antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mindset that has infected modern society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up.

Manson makes the argument, backed both by academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better. Human beings are flawed and limited—”not everybody can be extraordinary, there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault.” Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek.

There are only so many things we can give a f**k about so we need to figure out which ones really matter, Manson makes clear. While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience. A much-needed grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-look-you-in-the-eye moment of real-talk, filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humor, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives.


raising-boys-in-the-twenty-first-century4. Raising Boys In The Twenty-First Century: How To Help Our Boys Become Open-Hearted, Kind And Strong Men
Steve Biddulph

“Right now, the world badly needs good men. Your boy can be one of those who grow up so much better, and help to heal the world. Thank you for joining the boy revolution. As the 21st century rolls on, it’s badly needed. Enjoy your boy, love him well, and set him free to fly in his own special way.”

Few books have stayed in the hearts and minds of parents everywhere as much as Raising Boys. Now in an increasingly complicated and nuanced world, raising boys to become emotionally strong, kind and resilient men is even more important and relevant. In response to calls from parents around the world Steve Biddulph has completely updated and revised his seminal work to include all the latest international information and advice for parents on all the key issues of today such as gender, brain and hormonal development including latest findings on testosterone, transgender/gay/sexuality development, boys and crying, boys and ‘bad’ behaviour, reading and communication, and countering the effects of porn.


Barefoot Investor5. The Barefoot Investor
Scott Pape

This is the only money guide you’ll ever need.

That’s a bold claim, given there are already thousands of finance books on the shelves.

So what makes this one different?

Well, you won’t be overwhelmed with a bunch of ‘tips’ … or a strict budget (that you won’t follow).  You’ll get a step-by-step formula: open this account, then do this; call this person, and say this; invest money here, and not there. All with a glass of wine in your hand.

This book will show you how to create an entire financial plan that is so simple you can sketch it on the back of a serviette … and you’ll be able to manage your money in 10 minutes a week.

Sound too good to be true? It’s not.

This book is full of stories from everyday Aussies — single people, young families, empty nesters, retirees — who have applied the simple steps in this book and achieved amazing, life-changing results.

And you’re next.


Rather his own man6. Rather His Own Man: Reliable Memoirs
Geoffrey Roberston

In this witty, engrossing and sometimes poignant memoir, a sequel to his best-selling The Justice Game, Australia’s inimitable Geoffrey Robertson charts his progress from pimply state schoolboy to top Old Bailey barrister and thence onwards and upwards to a leading role in the struggle for human rights throughout the world.

He wryly observes the absurdities of growing up as one of ‘Ming’s kids’; the passion of student protest in the sixties and his early crusades for ‘Down Under-dogs’, before leaving on a Rhodes Scholarship to combat the British establishment, with the help of John Mortimer of ‘Rumpole’ fame. There are dramatic accounts of fighting for lives on death rows, freeing dissidents and taking on tyrants, armed only with a unique mind and a passion for justice – on display whenever he boomeranged back to Australia to conduct Geoffrey Robertson’s Hypotheticals.

His is an amazing life story of David and Goliath battles – riveting, laugh-out-loud tales filled with romance and danger, featuring a cast of characters ranging from General Pinochet to Pee-Wee Herman; from Malcolm Turnbull to Mike Tyson; from Nigella Lawson to Kathy Lette and Julian Assange. Throughout his exploits – recounted here with irreverent humour and dashes of true wisdom – Geoffrey Robertson has remained determinedly independent and his own man. He has also, in respect of human rights, changed the way we think.


The Prisoner7. The Prisoner
Kerry Tucker

Kerry Tucker seemed to be a typical suburban mother of two, but she had a terrible secret: she had been stealing money from her employers.

When her offence was discovered it was reported to be the biggest white-collar crime committed by a female in Victoria, and she was sentenced to seven years in a maximum-security prison, alongside the state’s most notorious criminals. Being incarcerated with drug dealers and murderers, however, was not nearly as daunting as having to tell her two young daughters why she was leaving them. The shame was almost unbearable.

As Kerry adjusted to life behind bars, she began to see her fellow inmates as more than simply ‘murderers’ and ‘drug dealers’ – they became real people with names and broken dreams. And as they opened up to her, she realised that many of these women had violent home lives and were not getting parole simply because they couldn’t fill out the paperwork. Horrified, Kerry set about using her skills to represent them. She also began to study.

Today, Kerry has a PhD, advocates for women prisoners, and has been reunited with her daughters. In her inspiring memoir, filled with fascinating stories of life behind bars and shot through with wry humour, she reveals how one woman’s darkest hour can become a turning point in her life. And how, just perhaps, it can even be the making of her.


Butterfly on a Pin8. Butterfly on a Pin: A Memoir of Love, Despair and Reinvention
Alannah Hill

Alannah Hill, one of Australia’s most successful fashion designers, created an international fashion brand that defied trends with ornamental, sophisticated elegance, beads, bows and vintage florals. But growing up in a milk bar in Tasmania, Alannah’s childhood was one of hardship, fear and abuse. At an early age she ran away from home with eight suitcases of costumes and a fierce determination to succeed, haunted by her mother’s refrain of ‘You’ll never amount to anything, you can’t sew, nobody likes you and you’re going to end up in a shallow grave, dear!’

At the height of her success, Alannah walked the razor’s edge between two identities – the ‘good’ Alannah and the ‘mongrel bastard’ Alannah. Who was the real Alannah Hill? Reprieve came in the form of a baby boy and the realisation that becoming a mother not only changes your life, but completely refurbishes it, forever.

Yet ‘having it all’ turned out to be another illusion. In 2013 Alannah walked away from her eponymous brand, a departure that left her coming apart at the seams. She slowly came to understand the only way she could move forward was to go back. At the heart of it all was her mother, whose loveless marriage and disappointment in life had a powerful and long-lasting effect on her daughter. It was finally time to call a truce with the past.

This extraordinary book is the fierce and intelligent account of how a freckle-faced teenage runaway metamorphosed into a trailblazer and true original. Unflinching, funny, shocking, inspiring and tender: this is a story like no other.



Motherhood9. The Motherhood
Jamila Rizvi

After her son was born, Jamila Rizvi felt isolated, exhausted and confused. While desperately in love with her new baby, the world she’d known had disappeared overnight and so had her sense of self.

Jamila’s salvation came in the form of a letter. A dear friend, Clare Bowditch – who had been there herself – wrote to tell Jamila she would get through this. Her comforting words reassured Jamila that she was seen, that she was supported and that she was not alone.

Now Jamila wants to pay it forward to the next generation of new mothers. The Motherhood is a collection of letters from some of Australia’s favourite women, sharing what they wish they’d known about life with a newborn. Coming from writers with a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences, no two stories are alike – but all are generous, compassionate and deeply honest.

As the old adage goes, ‘It takes a village to raise a child’ – and it also takes a village to properly support a new mother. Here is your village. These sisters (with babes) in arms are here to share the joy, the fear, the love, the laughter, the tears and the frustration, and to hold your hand in the dark.

Together, they will give you the strength and courage to find your feet as a new mum.


Fat Lot of Good10. A Fat Lot of Good
Dr Peter Brukner

Like most doctors, Peter Brukner was trained to believe that drugs and surgery are the answers to all medical problems – including the epidemics of obesity, diabetes and other ‘modern illnesses’ that are threatening our healthcare system and the life expectancy of future generations. For years he was dismissive of any ‘alternative’ diets or lifestyle changes.

But that all changed when, facing the double threat of obesity and diabetes himself, his research led to a shocking realisation that overturned a lot of the medical ‘truth’ he’d taken for granted: our dietary guidelines and food pyramid have no scientific basis. So he switched to a low-carb, healthy fat lifestyle – and dropped 13 kilos, lowered his insulin levels and drastically improved his liver function in just three months.

In A Fat Lot of Good Dr Brukner busts the dietary myths we’ve been living by for decades and gives you all the information you need, in as simple a way as possible, to live a longer, healthier and – most importantly – more enjoyable life.

 

 

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